6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (2022)

If you’ve tried kneeboarding or kayaking, chances are you’ll love wakeboarding. Before you try it, though, you’re going to need a wakeboard. When it comes to choosing your wakeboard, size, style, edges, and core all make a difference.To help you make this important decision, we reviewed the six best wakeboards in categories like budget and kids, as well as the best wakeboard for beginners.

Maybe instead, you’re an experienced wakeboarder looking to upgrade to the latest model. If that’s you, keep reading because we have an expert pick as well.No matter why you’re here, wakeboarding is a fun and exciting way to spend a day on the water. With any wakeboard from our ranking, you’ll leave the shore and never look back.

Our Top Picks

Skim the surface of each wakeboard in our ranking.

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (1)Best Overall: Slingshot Windsor Wakeboard.
Not only is the Windsor the best wakeboard available, Slingshot prioritizes sustainability in their manufacturing.
6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (2)Budget Pick: O’Brien 2022 System 140 Wakeboard.
Not only is the O’Brien 2022 System 140 affordable, it’s balanced, consistent, and easy to control.
6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (3)Beginners Pick: Hyperlite Franchise.
With a variable edge design, the Hyperlite Franchise suits both beginners and advanced riders.
6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (4)Expert Pick: Hyperlite Rusty Pro Wakeboard.
With an abrupt continuous rocker and a full-length cupped rail, the Rusty Pro offers added pop and helps experienced riders save their landings.
6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (5)Women’s Pick: Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight Secret Flex Wakeboard.
Although women can use whatever wakeboard they want, the Quarter ‘Til Midnight may help some make the most of the experience.
6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (6)Kid’s Pick: Slingshot Super Grom Kid’s Wakeboard.
Start ‘em young with the Super Grom kid’s wakeboard from Slingshot.

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A Closer Look: Best Wakeboards

Hit the wake because an in-depth look at each wakeboard in our ranking is coming up next.

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (7)Our e-label identifies eco-friendly products and brands. Learn more

1.Slingshot Windsor Wakeboard

The best wakeboards overall.

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (8)

Brand: Slingshot | Profile: Hybrid Rocker | Core: Vertically Laminated Wood | Edge: Tip to Tail Flex | Price: 💰💰💰💰

By using clean solar energy and sustainable wood, Pacific Northwest-based Slingshot prioritizes the planet whenever possible. None of this would matter, of course, if the wakeboards weren’t also great, and they are. The Slingshot Windsor is one such example.

What earned the Windsor first choice in our ranking are features like flex tips for stronger transitions, and the atomic wood core adding flavor. We also like the light, responsive, and strong carbon bedrock inserts.

Consistent, the board also offers pop without reducing speed due to the hybrid rocker profile, and it’s an especially good choice for cable riding, according to reports.

Reviewers Like

  • Withstands all surfaces
  • An all-around park board
  • Stiff center maintains pop

Reviewers Dislike

  • Best suited for air tricks
  • Maybe not for beginners
(Video) Wakeboards - Beginner vs Advanced Boards - Wakeboarding 101

2.O’Brien 2022 System 140 Wakeboard

The best wakeboard on a budget

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (9)

Brand: O’Brien | Profile: Continuous Rocker | Core: Biolite 3 | Edges: Even Curve | Price: 💰

To get into the popular sport of wakeboarding on a budget, we recommend the System 140 wakeboard from O’Brien. Not only is the board reasonably priced, it has a continuous rocker design, helping this well-balanced board stay consistent and easy to control. Roll up to the wake on the System 140 and expect a smooth and predictable pop, and overall, it stays very stable in the water.

What’s more, the board has foam core keeping it buoyant, which helps beginners get back up on it should they happen to fall (and they inevitably will). It’s also durable, with flank fins for easy tracking and better edging.

All around, it’s a great beginner board that will stay with a rider as their skills improve, according to reports, and extra stability is provided by the dual channels at the tip and tail.

Reviewers Like

  • Great look
  • Light and easy to maneuver
  • Nice step-up from a true beginner board

Reviewers Dislike

  • Shipping issues
  • Best for beginners
  • Some durability issues reported

3.Hyperlite Franchise

The best wakeboards for beginners.

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6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (10)

Brand: Hyperlite | Profile: Continuous Rocker | Core: Biolite 3 | Edges: Variable Edge | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Before choosing their board, wakeboarding beginners should consider first and foremost the edges, sometimes called rails. For speed, look for sharp edges. For control — which is especially important for those just learning — rounded edges are best. And for this reason, we like the soft edge Hyperlite Franchise for beginning riders of all ages.

What’s notable about the Franchise is that it’s narrow at the tip and tail with a dual-fin configuration for better edge hold, especially when approaching the wake. Also worth mentioning is the thin profile and the OT toe binding, blending both functionality with flexibility.

And although the board is a great pick for new riders, experienced wakeboarders find plenty to like about the Franchise as well, calling it tough and durable due to the layered fiberglass construction.

Reviewers Like

  • Great foothold
  • Stable rider position
  • Both light and strong

Reviewers Dislike

  • Versatile, but best for beginners
  • Short/wide boards not for everyone
  • Hyperlite won’t ship outside the U.S.

4.Hyperlite Rusty Pro Wakeboard

The best wakeboard for experts.

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (11)

Brand: Hyperlite | Profile: Abrupt Continuous Rocker | Core: Biolite 3 | Edges: Full-Length Cupped Rail | Price: 💰💰💰💰

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For the most experienced wakeboarders, we like the Rusty Pro wakeboard from Hyperlite. Integrating a top and bottom fiberglass layer into one, durable layer, the Rusty Pro is an abrupt continuous rocker board with better kick and speed. But the tip and tail are also slightly exaggerated, adding pop.

In addition, the full-length cupped rails help riders break free should they have to, or simply save a landing if they’re not quite on a target.

Extremely light and responsive, the Rusty Pro offered one wakeboarder the best ride of their life, they said. While another added, “they killed it with this one.” What’s for certain, it’s grippy, snappy, and fast, according to feedback.

Reviewers Like

  • Quick shipping
  • Feels poppy and snappy
  • Good surface area for massive airs

Reviewers Dislike

  • Not cheap
  • Not for beginners
  • Too aggressive for some

5. Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight Secret Flex Wakeboard

The best wakeboard for women.

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (12)

Brand: Ronix | Profile: Hybrid-3-Stage Middle/Continuous Outer Rocker | Core: Secret Flex Construction | Edges: Variable | Price: 💰💰💰

Women, of course, should use whatever wakeboard fits them, but female wakeboarders with especially small frames should consider the Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight.

This 5-star board is a hybrid 3-stage middle with a continuous outer rocker. It’s generally lighter while offering more flex than other boards, which suits some female riders better than others.

But most notably, the bindings are designed for boots sized to fit most women’s feet. Nevertheless, riders should expect predictable take offs, wake to wake jumps, and smooth, low maintenance turns with high-speed wide open cuts.

Reviewers Like

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  • Nice control
  • Different sizes available
  • Good strength to weight ratio

Reviewers Dislike

  • Only for women
  • Limit weight-bearing capacity
  • Best for intermediate to advanced

6.Slingshot Super Grom Kid’s Wakeboard

The best wakeboard for kids.

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids (2022) (13)

Brand: Slingshot | Profile: Continuous Rocker | Core: Atomic Wood | Edges: Soft Flex | Price: 💰💰💰

And for kids just getting into wakeboarding, we like the Super Grom kid’s wakeboard from Slingshot.

Learning edge control is often the most important lesson for young riders, and the Super Grom offers bolt-on fins to help keep control while they’re learning.

Otherwise, it’s a hybrid continuous rocker, appropriate for beginning and advanced water experiences, and everything in between. And it’s designed to mimic the feel of a snowboard, offering softer flex, which is perfect for lighter body types, especially in the wake.

Overall, it’s a great learning board, but sophisticated enough to keep kids interested as their skills improve.

Youngsters particularly like the flashy graphics, but no fins are included, unfortunately. The Super Grom is alSO not well-suited for aggressive boarding, we learned and it’s a little slow for more experienced wakeboarders. Which is not usually a problem for kids.

Reviewers Like

  • Good flex
  • Stable ride
  • Soft landings

Reviewers Dislike

  • Not for grown ups
  • Some durability concerns
  • Bit pricey for a true beginner

Our Process

For this guide on the best wakeboards, our team spent 5 hours researching the most popular options from over 30 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about 5-10 user reviews per wakeboard (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each one. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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Further Reading

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FAQs

What is the best wake board brand? ›

5 Best Wakeboard Brands
  • 1) Hyperlite. Let's start the list with one of the pioneers in the industry. ...
  • 2) Ronix. Ronix is one of the newer brands; however, they have quickly established themselves as one of the leaders in the sport. ...
  • 3) Liquid Force. ...
  • 4) Slingshot. ...
  • 5) Double Up.
11 Apr 2022

What should I look for in a beginner wakeboard? ›

If you're just starting out, a good beginner wakeboard is matched to the rider's weight and height, has the right rocker, fins and shape and has a binding setup that's both stable and comfortable.

What wakeboard has the most pop? ›

The Ronix One Timebomb is one of the fastest and most explosive wakeboards out there. If you are an intermediate to advanced rider looking for an energetic, responsive, and rapid fast wakeboard, this is it. The profile of the Ronix One Timebomb is a 3-stage rocker.

Is Liquid Force a good wakeboard? ›

If you've taken a spill on the water and need to heal your behind-the-boat skills, the Liquid Force Remedy Wakeboard is happy to help. Its split-tip shape and quad fin set up provides plenty of control, so you can go from standing up to riding steady. Pro rider Harley Clifford designed the Remedy with speed in mind.

How do I choose a wakeboard? ›

10 Tips for Choosing a Wakeboard
  1. Bring Your Own Board. If you really want to excel, it's important to have your own wakeboard. ...
  2. Check The Label. ...
  3. Match Up Sizes. ...
  4. Get Under The Skin. ...
  5. Know Your Style. ...
  6. Rock On (Or Off) ...
  7. Find The Fin. ...
  8. Investigate The Shape.

Is a longer or shorter wakesurf board better? ›

If you are riding behind a boat that throws a smaller wake, choose a bigger board. Larger wakesurfers move more slowly through the water and are easier for beginners to learn on. Smaller wakesurfers are more maneuverable, spry, and faster on the wave.

How fast do you pull a beginner wakeboarder? ›

Going somewhere between 12 and 15 miles per hour is ideal for beginners learning how to ride as it is steady speed that helps them gain confidence on the board. As they get more comfortable, you can then start going up in speed to 18 miles per hour.

What size wakeboard is best for beginners? ›

In our 3-minute guide to the best beginner wakeboards we'll cover: What Size Wakeboard You Need.
...
Wakeboard Size Chart.
Length Of WakeboardWeight Of Rider
Under 130cmUnder 95lbs
131-135cm96-150lbs
136-140cm151-180lbs
141-145cm181-250lbs
1 more row
2 Feb 2021

What speed do you pull a wakeboarder? ›

The proper speed to tow a wakeboarder is usually between 15 and 25 mph. The bottom line when it comes to speed is that the faster you go, the cleaner and more firm the wake gets, making it easier and more consistent for riders trying to jump or learn new tricks.

Who is the best female wakeboarder? ›

Meagan Ethell

Is it better to wakeboard without fins? ›

Once you can confidently start and ride a wakeboard centre fins should be removed as they are more likely to catch when jumping the wake or on surface spins.

What size wakeboard is best? ›

For a family board, look in the 135-139 range, as it is the most common for all body sizes. Getting the proper sized wakeboard and bindings is very important when you are on the water.

What is the easiest wakeboard Trick? ›

One of the best wakeboard tricks for beginners you can master is a surface spin. This is where you'll learn to rotate your board 180°. Because you don't actually leave the water's surface, it's a great way of getting used to the wakeboard, before you branch into wakeboard jumps.

What is the hardest trick on a wakeboard? ›

The 900 (two and a half rotations) is one of the hardest tricks in skateboarding, and it's pretty impressive on the water, too.

How much HP do you need to pull a wakeboarder? ›

While you can wakeboard with as little as 25 HP, a quality wake generally requires a 135+HP loaded boat. What is this? Boat owners often recommend 90 HP on a 16′ boat as the minimum for serious slalom skiing and wakeboarding on a fully loaded boat. 115 HP will generally be comfortable, while 75 HP may barely be enough.

How do you tell what size wakeboard I need? ›

Most wakeboards are available in different sizes. Unlike most other board sports where your height determines the length of board, the size of wakeboard you choose should be based mostly on your weight. It makes sense as it's your weight that determines how deep your board sits in the water.

Which foot goes first on a wakeboard? ›

Most waterskiers and wakeboarders find it most comfortable to have the dominant foot in the rear binding since this is the foot that is most important for balance and the one that initiates turns. The non-dominant foot, then, goes forward.

Should wakeboard boots be tight? ›

Whether open or closed toe wakeboard boots should always have a tight, firm fit. To control your board you need a solid connection so your boots should hold your foot snugly into the heel with you laces tightening firmly over the toes.

How deep of water do you need to wakesurf? ›

Water Depth

It's best to wakesurf in at least 12 feet of water. More is better.

Is it easier to wake surf or wakeboard? ›

What is this? Due to the absence of boots/board bindings, the release of the rope after start, and the generally lower speed, wake surfing is much easier on the body compared to wakeboarding . This is very similar to strapped vs strapless kiteboarding. Most people are able to wakesurf for much longer period of times.

Is wake surfing easier than surfing? ›

Wakesurfing does not require some of the hardest skills of surfing, such as paddling, popping up in the wave, fighting current, and duck diving under waves. Being towed by a boat at low speed makes getting up on the board and getting into the wave a lot easier.

Do you lean back when wakeboarding? ›

LEAN BACK

Leaning back on the wakeboard will prevent the front end from going underwater and will help you stay up. It's also recommended that beginners place the back binding close to the back of the board to position it over the back fin.

Is wakeboarding hard on your body? ›

Contusions, abrasions, strains, sprains, low back pain and rib fractures are common injuries experienced in wakeboarding. Ankle and hamstring sprains or strains, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, contusions, abrasions, and leg fractures, including fractured femurs, are common injuries experienced by wakeboarders.

What muscles should I train for wakeboarding? ›

Important areas to work for wakeboarding are the core, grip strength, thighs, and back. However, it is important to train all the major muscle groups for wakeboarding as the body works together as a unit, not as individual muscles in isolation. To train the core use exercises like prone iso-abs.

What happens if a wakeboard is too big? ›

A wakeboard that is too big will be too cumbersome to maneuver on the waves correctly, and a wakeboard that is too small might will give you little to no stability and have you sinking beneath the surface of the water before you gain any speed.

Do you need boots to ride a wakeboard? ›

Don't forget to get yourself a pair of wakeboarding boots, properly known as bindings. You can't just wear any old pair of boots, they have to be locked into place during your ride on your wakeboard. Try and look for a stiffer, less flexible pair of boots to help you balance easier and steer the board better.

What is a 3 stage wakeboard? ›

A wakeboard with a 3 stage rocker features three separate planes on the bottom of the board and will cause your wakeboard to respond with more pop (height) when you hit the wake. With a more dramatic rocker, a wakeboard has a loose or slippery feel on the surface of the water.

Is wakeboarding harder than skiing? ›

Both sports require leg and chest strength, but since you have to balance both your legs on the wakeboard (vs one ski on each leg), wakeboarding takes more core strength. It also feels similar to skateboarding and surfing, so anyone who is familiar with one-board sports may find comfort starting here.

Is it easier to wakeboard or ski? ›

For most people, getting up on a wakeboard is easier to learn than on a slalom ski, due to the wakeboard's larger contact area with the surface of the water. Also, a deep water start on a wakeboard gives the rider more time to pop out of the water than on a slalom ski (faster start).

Can you wakeboard without a tower? ›

No, you don't need a wakeboard tower to wakeboard—but it's much more fun with one! It's very simple. Towers allow you to achieve more hang time when you are doing tricks while you are wakeboarding. You can jump higher on your wakeboard and enjoy more time in the air for awesome tricks when you have a wakeboard tower.

Who is the best Wakesurfer in the world? ›

Pro Men
RankAthleteCountry
1Noah FlegelUSA
2Sean SilveiraUSA
3Beaux WildmanUSA
4John AkermanUSA
6 more rows

Why is wakeboarding so hard? ›

Once planing, however, wakeboards don't have a direction fin skis do. For most riders, turning and balancing on a wakeboard is more challenging. Also, the jumps and tricks are harder on a wakeboard, and the falls are harder than on water ski(s) even though you're going slower.

Is wakeboarding hard on knees? ›

Wakeboarding poses a high risk of injury to the knees. Common mistakes, such as keeping your legs straight or locking the knees, further increase injury risk. To stay safe, keep your knees bent at all times. If you've had knee injuries in the past, talk with a physiotherapist.

What is it called when you wakeboard without a rope? ›

Wakesurfing is a water sport in which a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat's wake without being directly pulled by the boat.

Are 3 fins better than 4? ›

Quad fins, compared to trifins, are faster out of the tube. As soon as you get up, quads will give you instant speed in the line instead of having to pump and control the board.

Is it easier to wakeboard with a shorter rope? ›

The shorter the rope the easier it will be to clear the wake. Usually, beginners will want to use a 65-foot rope length until they are comfortable wakeboarding. Someone who is comfortable clearing the wake both heel side and toe side would probably be using a 70-75 rope length.

Is it easier to get up on a bigger wakeboard? ›

Larger boards are also wider which also provides more lift and softer landings. Beginners will have an easier time getting up, while advanced riders will enjoy increased rocker heights.

How do I improve my grip strength for wakeboarding? ›

Pole or Rope Climb

The rope climb — or in my case, the pole climb — is one of the best upper body and grip workouts. Use both arms to pull, then hold strong with one arm while reaching as high as you can with the free arm. Make each reach count.

Does a bigger wakeboard help you with softer landings? ›

A bigger wakeboard displaces more water for softer landings. If you're riding a board that's too small, landings will feel abrupt and rough due to the board losing speed and sinking quicker in the water. A smaller board can't displace enough water to support your height and weight and tend to feel sluggish.

Is 90 hp enough for water skiing? ›

And 90 HP might be enough for a 20-foot boat to pull a skier, but you're going to need more engine to ski behind a 26-foot boat.

Can you ski behind a 75 hp motor? ›

You can also typically water ski behind a bass boat if it has at least 75 HP in its engine. You'll likely need to add a ski tow bar though. Bear in mind that the light weight and shallow hull of bass boats will generally not produce much of a wake for tricks.

Can a 40 hp pull a tube? ›

Your 40 hp 4 stroke will pull some smaller folks on tubes at about 18 mph, maybe 20 mph. If this is fast enough, go for it. Tubing, in general, especially for bigger folks and higher speeds generally take a bit more power. If you could get the 60 hp motor, you would get considerably better performance.

What boat creates the best surf wake? ›

Centurion and Supreme boats are pretty well known for being the “best” surf boats out there. They are the boat of choice for more professional and semi-professional surfers than any other brand, tow the World Wakesurfing Championships, and headline the majority of competitive wakesurf tournaments.

What is the difference between a kite board and a wake board? ›

Traditionally, kiteboards feature one or two inches of rocker, while wakeboards display three inches of curvature. Kiteboards are also lighter (4-to-6 pounds) and more flexible than wakeboards (7-to-8 pounds). Additionally, and unlike in wakeboards, kiteboards are often marketed with foot strap systems.

What board do you use for wake surfing? ›

Surf, Skim, and Hybrid

Generally, there are 3 types of wakesurf board: skim, surf and hybrid. The type of wakesurf board you choose will let you be able to do tricks, surf or both.

How fast should you go when wake surfing? ›

How Fast Should the Boat Go? Most people wakesurf around 10mph, but sometimes as slow as 9mph and as fast as 13mph depending on a few things including the hull, length of the boat, and amount of ballast. Additionally, each board has an ideal speed depending on length and rocker.

How much is a decent wake boat? ›

Typically, the average price of wake boats would go from $150,000 to $200,000. But top-of-the-line models cost over $200,000. Compared to the inboards, sterndrive wake surfing boats are far less expensive. For as low as $50,000, you can already have your wake boat.

Do wakeboard boats hold their value? ›

Wakeboard boats are generally quite expensive, but they hold their value because they are a specialized, high-end product. The fiberglass boat hulls take a lot of time, money, material, and personal effort to build.

How deep of water do you need to wake surf? ›

Water Depth

It's best to wakesurf in at least 12 feet of water. More is better. When you have less water underneath you, the boat will not generate a fully formed wave.

Is kite boarding harder than surfing? ›

Learning Kitesurfing Vs. Surfing. The consensus among fans who indulge in both sports is that kitesurfing is a few points easier to learn than surfing, or at least takes less time. Still, experienced kiteboarders will tell you that it takes time to master kiteboarding.

Can you wake board without a tower? ›

No, you don't need a wakeboard tower to wakeboard—but it's much more fun with one! It's very simple. Towers allow you to achieve more hang time when you are doing tricks while you are wakeboarding. You can jump higher on your wakeboard and enjoy more time in the air for awesome tricks when you have a wakeboard tower.

What wake board size do I need? ›

Wakeboard size chart
Rider Weight (lbs)Rider Weight (kg)Wakeboard Length (cm)
90 - 15040 - 65130 - 134
130 - 18059 - 82135 - 139
170 - 25077 - 113140 - 144
200 - 275+91 - 125+> 144
1 more row
2 Jan 2021

Is it easier to wake board or water ski? ›

Wakeboarding may be the better choice with beginners because it is slightly easier to learn. Water skiing requires more skill and athleticism, but offers more opportunities for skill development and competition.

What is the difference between wake boarding and wake surfing? ›

While wakeboarding, the user holds a boat-towed rope throughout the duration of the ride. In wakesurfing, the user releases the rope to ride out a wake. Approaching a large wake, a wake surfer will drop the line to ride the peak in a similar fashion as surfing.

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